Today’s Scrip-Bit 8 February 2019 Matthew 7:14.

Matthew 7:14.   ​​Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
 

And then it was Friday…another gloomy winter’s day? Most likely! But who knows…and who cares eh? Not us believing Christians! We have Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour constantly looking over us, so we don’t let li’l things like the weather bother us, or keep us from doing His will! We get up and decide, whatever the weather or our circumstances: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it!’ Wow! What confidence we have in our Saviour! 

And if that doesn’t do the trick, then we continue: ‘The Lord will provide all my needs through His riches in glory!’ And furthermore: ‘If God be for me, who can be against me eh?’ Not a single soul! And since we are overcomers, the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, through Christ who gives us the strength to do all that He calls us to do, then we can be steadfast and strong, and conclude that ‘As for me and my house, we WILL follow the Lord!’ 

Oh friends, if you all didn’t need that li’l pick me up this morning, good for you, but the ole fella certainly needed it! But with the Lord’s help, we back on track now…praise His holy name! 

So let’s hear what the workingman has to say this gloomy Friday morning. And I just LOVE his undaunted enthusiasm! ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday…La la la la la la! It might be winter…and cold and miserable, but why should that make me miserable too eh? Especially when is Friday and the weekend upon me…when is my time to do as I please. I’d be real chupid to let a li’l bad weather stop me from enjoying the couple days off I have from the slave driver’s work yes! 

So who want to let that bother them or stop them from eating and drinking and partying, that is their business, but it not going to stop me, because I just live for the weekend and the li’l chance to karay mih body to some sweet music, and full mih belly with good food and drink, especially in them kinda cold weather here! I need strength, energy and enthusiasm to handle them oui! So thank God for Fridays and the weekends and them yes!’ 

Yes mih people, the workingman is certainly off and running today. And I know that plenty of us supposed Christians think like him, and would like to behave leggo beast like him, but Jesus doesn’t like that kinda behaviour in His organization, so we cool it down, and instead chant we Friday Chant, a somewhat more controlled song, with narrower boundaries. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh! 

As one chanter: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah mih breddren, a li’l restraint never hurt nobody yet nuh, but when you let it all hang out, yuh liable to get bite, as the long time calypso did say. (smile) And that’s all Jesus is trying to do yes with His narrow way; preventing us from getting bite! It’s all for our benefit, because yuh know how the enemy always lurking in the background ready to snap and bite at any chance we give him, so he could get a foothold in we souls and just spoil everything. 

Remember, it does only take one bad apple to spoil the whole basket! And Jesus doesn’t want that to happen to us, that’s why He advocates the narrow, less travelled way. ‘Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait (how narrow) is the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ (Matt.7:13-14) 

And that’s the gospel truth friends! But we don’t even need Jesus us to tell us that, because logically speaking, the wider or broader your field of vision or your endeavours, the more problems you’re liable to have, just because so much more is involved. 

But getting back to Jesus, who wants to suffer destruction by being eternally separated from Him eh? Nobody in their right minds! So if we’re wise and sensible, although I know common sense isn’t in vogue these days (smile) we will choose the strait and narrow way which is through Jesus as He so sweetly and graciously enlightens us: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but my me.’ (John 14:6) End of story friends! 

If you want to get to the Father, then you have to go through His Son Jesus! That’s all there is to it! It’s just like our earthly set up; to get to the boss, you have to go through His secretary. (smile) So just consider Jesus the Father’s Administrative Assistant, and if you don’t deal with Him, you won’t get a chance to deal with the Father! Clear as noonday my brethren! 

So let’s take a few moments today and ponder which road we’re currently travelling on nuh, because it’s so easy to get sidetracked in this evil, ungodly world, that we need to constantly be on our p’s and q’s so we stay on the straight and narrow with Jesus. Much LOVE!

…only two options available…the strait and narrow with Jesus…and enjoy eternal life…or the broad and busy highway…and end up on the outside looking in…dead to Jesus…be wise…choose life…

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 10 August 2018 John 14:15.

John 14:15.   If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.

And then it was Friday…already? Yes already. Remember, it was just a short workweek, what with the Caribana Monday holiday. Ah yes! I remember now! That means we into the weekend. Yes. We’re into the weekend. 

And does it ever warm the cockles of the workingman’s heart that he sings out with joyous abandon: ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday! And we only work four days this week! Mama Yo! Ah don’t see why they can’t make it just a four day week all the time nuh. Then we’ll have so much more time to party. Party…Party…Party! 

Yeh, life is all about partying, about living it up, about eating and drinking and having a good time, wining down like we did this past Caribana weekend. What did Solomon, the wisest man ever say? Something like eat and drink today, for tomorrow you may die. Well that is exactly what we doing! So if we die tomorrow, we won’t have no regrets. Thank God for Fridays and weekends yes!’ 

Ah friends, that is how the world thinks, how the unwise adherents of the prince of darkness behave. But as followers of, and true believers in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Light, we cannot afford to think or behave like that. Our Crown Prince wants us to behave with a tad more restraint than the workingman. It’s not that we can’t enjoy ourselves, but not to the extent that the world does, in terms of lewdness and leggo beast behaviour. 

That difference shows up in our weekend song, our Friday Chant, a much more responsible ditty. So let’s chant up a storm now nuh, in response to the workingman’s proclamation. As one now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Now that’s more like it mih breddren! We still have fun and enjoy ourselves, but we just don’t take things to the extreme, we exhibit a li’l more care and concern, like Jesus desires of us. As He says so simply and explicitly in our Bit: ‘If ye LOVE me, keep my commandments.’ 

It couldn’t get any plainer or simpler than that my people. If we LOVE Jesus we WILL keep His rules and regulations, for every organization has to have a stated, streamlined and orderly manner in which to carry out their business, if they want to grow and prosper. And that’s what Jesus definitely desires of His organization, the church! 

So if we want His church to grow and prosper, we must abide by His commands, toe the party line as it were, and not behave like the irresponsible workingman. Jesus said those words in our Bit to His disciples when He was preparing to go back to heaven. Obviously they were grieved and disappointed, but He solemnly promised. 

‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless (orphans): I will come to you. 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that LOVETH me: and he that LOVETH me shall be LOVED of my Father, and I will LOVE him, and will manifest (reveal) myself to him.’ (John 14:16-21) 

Oh mih people, what marvellous and miraculous promises, all of which have been kept! And we especially talking about the promise of the new Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which came to earth on the Day of Pentecost and made mas in Jerusalem, with a rushing wind and cloven tongues like fire sitting on the followers of Jesus.

It caused them to speak in foreign languages, and they were so excited, behaving like the workingman I suppose,(smile) that the people of Jerusalem thought they were drunk at that early hour in the morning. And Peter preached one of the best sermons ever preached. You can read all about it in Acts 2. 

That’s when the Holy Ghost began to indwell ALL believers…and it still does today! Yes friends, that’s the Comforter Jesus promised, the Spirit of truth, and it certainly does all the things He promised it would. And the world still cannot see it because they don’t believe in and follow Jesus. 

And we’ll end with some reinforcements from John in his first epistle. ‘For this is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (burdensome). For whatsoever (whosoever) is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (1 John 5:3-5) 

Mama Mia! What indisputable truth! Only those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God can overcome this dark and evil world controlled by the fallen angel Lucifer! That’s it, plain and simple! So what shall your decision be eh? Do you want to overcome the world? I certainly hope so. Then you know what to do. Much LOVE!

…if you want to dwell in the light…and overcome the world…then you must accept Jesus as the Master of your life…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 May 2014 Judges 5:7

Judges 5:7.    The inhabitants of the villages (village life) ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.

                                          HAPPY  MOTHER’S DAY !

Well Friends, once again we have come to that memorable day in springtime when we pay tribute to Mothers. And what shall we say to honour them today eh? Well, first let’s say that they are usually like a breath of clean, fresh, pure spring air, as opposed to the oppressive heat of summer and the frigid cold of winter. They just seem to have that pick me up character built into them. They are usually so refreshing when everybody else is dragging and down in the dumps. They just have the natural ability to lift expectations and emotions.

Now here is something that recently struck me. Mothers, or the female of all the species are more akin to, more like God than males, in terms of their inherent characteristics. In the sense that they have reproductive capacities, can create and carry life, and provide succour and nourishment for their young, nurturing them through their childhood, and even into their adult years. Mothers possess an uncanny sense of wisdom, even without any formal schooling.

They generally give good guidance and show their children the true paths they ought to tread. They are usually imbued with a greater sense of dedication, patience and perseverance and restraint than men. In fact the fruits of the Spirit – LOVE, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness (kindness), goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (faithfulness) are more likely to be found in mothers than in fathers. In the human family, it’s usually the mothers who teach the children the ABC’s of life, and keeps the family tightly knit and together.

In other words, she is basically responsible for bearing, birthing, raising and caring for the children and the family as a whole, oftimes while also working outside of the home. And you better believe Friends, that’s a major responsibility, one that requires a big juggling and balancing act, a feat which most men would not be able to handle. I guess that’s why the Lord made them emotionally stronger, more understanding and LOVING than men.

But unfortunately, Mothers, women on the whole, still don’t get the recognition they deserve from society. In numerous places, all over the world, they are still being treated like second class citizens, like chattel. And it’s not only in the supposed backward, third world countries that this happens, but also right here in the first world countries, women and mothers are not given their full due and rightful respect.

We see that in the fact that they earn less than men while doing the same job. They are seldom promoted to meaningful jobs in the upper echelons of the big companies. And if they do get a bligh, it’s often a token appointment that doesn’t really carry much weight or responsibility.

Oh don’t get me wrong, nowadays a few women are breaking through the glass ceiling, but still not in sufficient quantities, definitely not in proportion to their numbers involved in the work force. And they still bear the foolish stigma of being unable to be a mother, a wife and a career person at the same time. Consequently they are still being fired or passed over for promotions during times of pregnancy. Steups!

And sadly, ladies and mothers, men are not the only ones to blame for this sad state of affairs. Some of the blame has to be laid at your doorstep too; possibly for not being pro-active enough and standing up for your rights, allowing men to still treat you as footstools and sexual objects.

Anyway Mothers, today we’re not here to condemn, but to praise you for being the strength, the backbone of our families and therefore our societies. We’re here to praise you for your fortitude and courage, for the many times when all seems lost, but somehow or other you get a tight hold of the reins and restore some semblance of order, along with a sense of purpose and encouragement.

I’ve learned from a young age that the male of the species might be physically stronger – and I’m not even sure about that – but in all other respects, the female of the species wins out. Oh we know that mothers are not perfect, some of them are even downright disgusting, but we have to realize that they are only human and thus suffer from all the human frailties and weaknesses.

But overall, mothers are truly the ones who make the world go round fairly smoothly with their kindness, their LOVE, their nurturing, their encouragement, and all the other little but ever so important things they do. And our Bit points that out so nicely. ‘The inhabitants of the villages (village life) ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.’

Yeh Friends, Israel was a mess under most of the judges, until Deborah rose up as a mother and shepherded them back to some form of godliness and decent community life. You can read her story in Judges 5.

And hear these choice words from the psalmist, re God’s mercy. ‘He maketh (causes) the barren (childless) woman to keep house (dwell in a home), and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.’ (Ps.113:9)

And we see examples of that all through God’s Word; e.g. Sarah (Isaac), Hannah (Samuel), Elizabeth (John). So it’s obvious that the Lord has a soft spot in His heart for women who are unable to conceive.

Anyway my people, I hope this all makes sense. I just wanted to do something a little different, especially since I have a great appreciation for mothers, having had six of them. Yes my brethren, the Lord blessed me with six different motherly women to look out for me during certain rough periods of my life. And believe me, all six mothers were beautiful persons, treating me with such LOVE and tender care, that I don’t know how I would have made out if the Lord had not brought them into my life at those most appropriate times.

And looking back on my life now, I can definitely see the Lord’s favour working in my favour. What a great thing hindsight is eh! Oh, if foresight was only half as good!  

Obviously my birth mother Molly was the first, and she did her best to give me a decent life. Thank you Molls baby! They wouldn’t know some of the stuff you went through to provide for me nuh, and I’m truly sorry I didn’t appreciate your efforts before I did.  It’s amazing to think that it’s almost three years since you left us to sing in the heavenly choir, but sonny boy is trying his best not to sully your name and genuinely good character. (smile)

You know I won’t ever forget you, but sometimes I miss you, especially when I need someone to talk to, for you were truly my best Friend. I could bring any problem to you and know that you wouldn’t judge me. Ah Molls sugar, the tears are welling up in the ole fella’s eyes as I remember you and some of the interesting though often difficult times we went through. Not to worry though, the good Lord is looking after me.

And Friends, I won’t even bother to get into the problems that many mothers have, like little or no help from fathers, ungrateful and disobedient children etc. because it is all well documented. I’d just like us all to work together in the true spirit of Christianity, reflecting Christ’s character to help mothers, to help women all over the world to have better lives than many of them are currently having.

And yuh see how important Jesus’ mother was to Him, for even as He was dying on the cross, He made provision for her to live with John. (John19:25-27) So why can’t we mortal men appreciate our mothers too eh?  And parents were considered so important by God, that He included them in His basic commandments for living. ‘Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’ (Ex.20:12)

And we’ll close with a most fitting story based on an old song I believe was sung by Shirley Caesar, called No Charge. It begins with a mother being in the kitchen and her young son comes in and presents her with a list of all the chores he’s done and how much he is charging her for doing them.

The mother is obviously disappointed, but turns over the paper and writes stuff like, for carrying you for nine months – no charge… And she lists all the things she’s done for him since he was first conceived in her womb, and at the side of each there was the statement – no charge. And at the very end there was some thing like – in short…for my LOVE…THERE’S NO CHARGE…

And that my Friends is what a Mother’s LOVE is all about! It’s free, given from the heart!

And when the youngster reads his mother’s note, he cries, turns the paper over to his side and writes across it – Paid in Full.

So today my people, let’s truly honour our mothers nuh, for without them and their LOVING-kindness, our lives would have been even more difficult than they were. Much LOVE!

…the best reflection on earth…the closest image to the heart of God…that’s a Mother’s LOVE…unconditional and freely given…  

P.S. Yes Friends, I know it’s long, extra long (smile) but, like a Mother’s LOVE, it comes from the heart. Much LOVE!